Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago ivf

Donor egg treatment at Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago

Egg donation clinic with proven donors

Become an egg donor

Who should be treated with IVF using donor eggs?

Egg donation (oocyte donation or ovum donation) is an effective treatment for infertility except in women with a severe uterine problem, such as extensive intrauterine adhesions.

Success rates with egg donation are high, particularly compared to pregnancy rates in women with poor egg quality and quantity.

Donor egg IVF is generally used in women with significantly diminished egg quantity and quality (poor ovarian reserve). This includes women with:

Donor egg success rates Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago vs. USA average

Our 2017 live birth rates using donor eggs vs. the US average (SART data)
  • Know the success rates at your clinic before you do treatment anywhere with donor eggs
  • See any clinic's IVF and donor egg success rates by following links to SART or CDC

How are egg donation procedures done and how is the timing of IVF with donor eggs done?

  1. An appropriate egg donor is chosen by the infertile couple and thoroughly screened for ovarian reserve, infectious diseases and genetically transmissible conditions. Donors can be known or anonymous to the recipient. Most commonly, in our clinic, recipients choose the donor from our list of anonymous pre-screened egg donors.
    See our complete egg donor list

    See our frozen egg donor list

  2. Consents are signed by all parties.

  3. For a cycle using fresh eggs, the donor is stimulated with injected medications to develop multiple eggs before they are retrieved from the ovaries. If frozen eggs are being used, the eggs are thawed for use. Either way, we then perform in vitro fertilization with the donor eggs and the appropriate sperm.

  4. Sample calendar of a "typical" egg donation cycle that shows the days of medications, procedures, etc.

  5. The infertile woman (recipient) is placed on medications:
    • Lupron suppresses her own menstrual cycle
    • Estrogen patches or pills to stimulate development of a receptive uterine lining
    • When the lining is thick enough, progesterone is started to synchronize development of the lining with the embryos

Making a receptive uterine lining

With egg donation, a lining thickness of 7mm or more is desired to maximize success rates. Usually it is not difficult to get a good lining thickness for egg donation, but sometimes we need a modified estrogen protocol to get sufficient thickness.

Receptive uterine lining for egg donation
Ultrasound images of a uterus with a normal endometrial lining that is 11.2 mm thick

Egg donation process

When the donor's follicles are mature, an egg aspiration procedure is performed to remove the eggs from her ovaries. The eggs are then fertilized in the laboratory with the sperm of the infertile woman's male partner or with donor sperm.
  • Egg donation is commonly done using either fresh or frozen eggs
  • Egg freezing technology has improved greatly over the past several years
  • Egg donation with frozen eggs currently yields lower success rates as compared to using fresh eggs but the difference at high quality IVF centers is not large

The two charts below show data from our donor egg program. The top one shows fresh donor egg results and the second one shows results with frozen donor eggs.

Shown are the average number of eggs, mature eggs, fertilized eggs, 8 cell embryos on day 3 and total embryos available for transfer and freezing at the end of a cycle. Also shown are the average number of embryos transferred, frozen, and number of babies born (from transfer of the fresh embryos).

Even when using donor eggs there is drop off as embryos develop over 5 days in the lab. But there are still usually enough good ones to make babies. As shown, the average number of eggs that we start with is much lower when using frozen donor eggs. This results in a lower success rate and lower chances to have extra embryos for freezing at the end of the cycle.

Average number of eggs embryos and babies from donor egg cycles using fresh eggs

Average number of eggs, embryos, babies in donor egg cycles using frozen eggs

Timing of donor egg fertilization with the recipient's uterine receptivity

Getting the proper timing in IVF with donor eggs between the uterine lining in the recipient and the developing embryos is critical for a successful donor egg IVF cycle.

This is accomplished by carefully controlling the start time of the drug (hormone) progesterone (also called P4) in the recipient woman. Not all egg donation clinics start progesterone at exactly the same time. Our protocol starts progesterone on the evening before the donor's egg retrieval procedure.

An embryo transfer procedure is done typically on day 5 after oocyte retrieval. We place the embryo carefully in the recipient woman's uterus where it will hopefully implant and develop on to a successful birth.

Sample calendar for a donor egg treatment cycle

Availability of egg donors

  • We currently have Chicago area egg donors available interested in donating eggs
  • We do not have any waiting list for couples needing an egg donor
  • We also have a frozen donor egg bank with eggs ready to be used immediately

Success rates with donor eggs

Success rates for IVF using donor eggs varies considerably depending on several variables including the age of the donor, her egg quantity and quality, the number of embryos transferred, the quality of the recipient's uterine lining, and the particular IVF center handling the case. Pregnancy rates are generally as high, or higher than that seen with the use of eggs from very young (under 32) infertile women.

The graph below is from a recent ART Success Rates report published by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - a US Government agency.

  • This report was generated from national data from hundreds of clinics and over 100,000 IVF cycles
  • It is not data from our center (although our data is included in it)
  • It shows the rate of live births per embryo transfer procedure by the age of the recipient of the embryos
  • The green line shows data using the infertile woman's own eggs, while the dark blue line shows data from transfer of embryos using donor eggs

This chart illustrates the decline in live birth rates by female age. The rate of decline becomes somewhat greater starting at about age 38. In vitro fertilization with own eggs rarely results in a live birth beyond age 43.

An important point is that there is basically no decline in live birth rates by age of recipient when donor eggs are being used (top line doesn't drop with age).

  • The age of the eggs is very important, but the age of the uterus is not as important

CDC live births by age using own vs. donor eggs

The national summary (as well as clinic specific results) of IVF cycles done in the years 1997-2017 are posted on the CDC's website. Links to CDC and SART reports are on our site

  • Some programs, including ours, have delivery rates averaging 75% per embryo transfer procedure for egg donation cases
  • The national average donor egg success rate is currently 50% per transfer procedure

What is the history of IVF using donor eggs?

The process of human egg donation began in 1982 with the first live birth success. Currently, over 20,000 egg donation treatment cycles are done annually in the US.

Being a recipient of donor eggs from out of town can be done with one trip to our Chicago area clinic.

To become a patient call us at 888-257-4420, or fill out the form below:



Email us with questions about our donor program

A comparison of clinic success rates may not be meaningful because patient medical characteristics, treatment approaches and entrance criteria for ART may vary from clinic to clinic.


Information provided by and last updated on (6/11/2019) by: Michelle Catenacci, MD

Dr. Catenacci joined the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago in 2012 and is our medical director. She is board-certified in both Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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4920 N. Central Ave
Suite 2C

Chicago, IL 60630

Phone: (773) 794-1818
Fax: (773) 794-1819

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Gurnee, IL 60031

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Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Phone: (815) 356-1818
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